Main events in the history of NMS

A list of major events in the history of the Norwegian Mission Society.

Corrections, comments and suggestions can be sent to arkiv@mhs.no.

Decade Home Abroad
1840s
  • 1842-08-08: NMS is founded in Stavanger.
  • 1843-06: The first general assembly is held in Kristiansand.
  • 1843: "Missionsskolen" [The School of Mission] is established in Stavanger.
  • 1844: The second general assembly is held in Stavanger.
  • 1845: The third general assembly is held in Bergen.
  • 1846: The fourth general assembly is held in Kristiania [Oslo]. It is decided that future general assemblies shall be held every three years.
  • 1849-08: The fifth general assembly is held in Trondheim.
  • 1843-07-05: The first NMS missionaries, Hans P. S. Schreuder and Niels Thommesen, depart from Christiania [Oslo] for Zululand, South Africa.
1850s
  • 1852: Andreas Hauge leaves the position as "sekretær" [secretary, i.e. chief executive administrator] of NMS and becomes a parish minister in the Church of Norway.
  • 1852: The general assembly is held in Bergen.
  • 1855-01: Peder Blessing, at the age of 26, is appointed secretary of NMS.
  • 1855: The general assembly is held in Kristiania [Oslo].
  • 1858: As soon as he got the news of the first baptism in Zululand, the Norwegian pastor and poet M. B. Landstad (1802-1880) wrote the hymn "Oppløft dit syn, o kristensjel!".
  • 1858: The general assembly is held in Stavanger.
  • 1851-06: The mission station at Empangeni, established by Schreuder, becomes the first Norwegian station within Zululand territory.
  • 1858-06-06: Matenshwaze Shange is baptized as the first on the NMS mission field in Zululand.
1860s
  • 1861: The general assembly is held in Trondheim.
  • 1864: The general assembly is held in Bergen.
  • 1864: The sailing ship "Elieser", built and owned by NMS for transportation of missonaries, is launched in Bergen harbor 23 May.
  • 1864: In Stavanger the newly bought site of the School of Mission is inaugurated as a combined campus and farm.
  • 1864: Christian Dons succeeds Peter Blessing as NMS secretary.
  • 1867: The general assembly is held in Kristiansand.
  • 1866: In October John Engh (1833-1900) and Nils Nilsen (1834-1923) arrive in Antananarivo, as the first NMS missionaries in Madagascar.
1870s
  • 1870: The general assembly is held in Tromsø.
  • 1870: The number of subscriptions to the NMS magazine "Norsk Misjonstidende" reaches 6000 (up from 2000 in 1850).
  • 1873: The general assembly is held in Drammen.
  • 1876: The general assembly is held in Stavanger.
  • 1879: The general assembly is held in Trondheim.
  • 1874: The first NMS missionaries are sent to the west coast of Madagascar, working in the cities of Morondava and Tulear [Toliara].
1880s
  • 1882: The general assembly is held in Bergen.
  • 1885: The general assembly is held in Kristiania [Oslo].
  • 1888: The general assembly is held in Kristiansand.
  • 1888: With the city of Vangaindrano as the center of operations, NMS missionaries are stationed on the east coast of Madagascar.
1890s
  • 1892: The general assembly is held in Stavanger.
  • 1895: The general assembly is held in Tromsø.
  • 1898: The general assembly is held in Drammen.
  • 1892: NMS makes an agreement with Norwegian-American Lutheran missions in Madagascar regarding the boundaries of their work zones on the east coast of the island.
1900s
  • 1900-05: The first NMS "Unges Misjonsforening" [Young people's mission association] is established in Bergen.
  • 1901: "Missionsskolen for kvinder", the training center for women appointed as NMS missionary candidates, begins operations in Oslo.
  • 1901: The general assembly is held in Trondheim.
  • 1904: Women are granted the right to vote at NMS general assemblies.
  • 1904: The general assembly is held in Bergen.
  • 1907: The general assembly is held in Kristiania [Oslo].
  • 1902: Nils Arnetvedt (1846-1935), Johan Gotteberg (1872-1955) and his wife Ragnhild (1868-1955), and Jørgen Edvin Nilssen (1871-1922) begin missionary work in Hunan province of China.
1910s
  • 1910: The general assembly is held in Ålesund.
  • 1913: The general assembly is held in Hamar.
  • 1916: The general assembly is held in Bodø.
  • 1918: The general assembly is held in Kristiansand.
  • 1913: NMS is among the Lutheran missions in China which establish the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Shekow.
1920s
  • 1920: Lars Nilsen Dahle (1843-1925) retires as general secretary of NMS.
  • 1920: Jørgen Edvin Nilssen (1871-1922) is appointed general secretary of NMS.
  • 1921: The general assembly is held in Fredrikstad.
  • 1923: Einar Amdahl (1888-1974) is appointed general secretary, after the sudden death of his predecessor.
  • 1924: The general assembly is held in Stavanger.
  • 1927: The general assembly is held in Tromsø.
  • 1925-07-08: Jens Nikolaisen, Karl Flatland, Johannes Thrana and Sverre Oseland, constitute the first NMS missionary conference in Ngaoundéré, Cameroon.
1930s
  • 1930: The general assembly is held in Trondheim.
  • 1933: The general assembly is held in Drammen.
  • 1936: The general assembly is held in Bergen. Kornelius Olsen Kornelius is elected chairman of the Board of Govenors.
  • 1939: The general assembly is held in Skien.
  • 1939: Women become eligible as members of "Hovedstyret", the NMS Board of Govenors. Kornelius Olsen Kornelius is reelected as chairman of the Board of Govenors.
1940s
  • 1944-07-03: Kornelius Olsen Kornelius, the chairman of the NMS Board of Govenors, is imprisoned by the Nazi authorities in Norway. The same action is taken three days later against Einar Amdahl, the NMS general secretary.
  • 1945-05-08: Kornelius and Amdahl are released from prison, as Norway is liberated the same day.
  • 1945: The general assembly is held in Oslo. "Hovedstyret" is converted to "Landsstyret", i.e. a board of govenors composed of representatives from the various nationwide regions of NMS.
  • 1945: NMS establishes a registered publishing house.
  • 1945-09-4: The buildings at the campus of "Misjonsskolen" is returned to NMS following their use by Nazi authorities since the summer of 1940.
  • 1945-12: NMS, together with the Church of Sweden Mission and the Danish Missionary Society, buys a used Douglas DC-3 aircraft for transportation of missionaries. It was named "Ansgar" and was in operation until 1948.
  • 1946: A mission secretariat is established at the NMS headquarters as an administrative department for operations overseas. Johannes Skauge is appointed as the first mission secretary.
  • 1948: The general assembly is held in Lillehammer.
  • 1948: "Misjonsbibelskolen", a mission focused bible school, begins operations in Skatval, Trøndelag. NMS and Norges Finnemisjonsselskap are jointly responsible for the school.
  • 1948: The Lutheran Theological Seminary moves from Shekow to Tao Fong Shan , and with some of its missionaries on the faculty this marks the beginning of NMS ministry in Hong Kong.
  • 1949: The Friends Foreign Mission Association - Quakers (FFMA) donates its printing shop in Madagascar to NMS.
  • 1949-12-23: Helga Waabenø, former NMS missionary in Hunan, arrives in Taiwan (Formosa) as the first Lutheran missionary there.
1950s
  • 1951-06: The general assembly is held in Ålesund. It is decided to begin mission work in Japan.
  • 1954-06-25-29: The general assembly is held in Kristiansand.
  • 1957: The general assembly is held in Trondheim. Lauritz Wathne is elected chairman of the Board of Govenors.
  • 1957-11-18: Einar Amdahl retires as general secretary and is succeeded by Fridtjov Birkeli.
  • 1950-08-28: Nora and Bjørn Alve arrive in Kobe as the first NMS missionaries in Japan.
  • 1956-03-15-17: The Board of Govenors confirms that NMS is involved in evangelistic ministry in Hong Kong.
  • 1956: In the summer this year Ingeborg and Kolbjørn Riiser arrive in Arusha in northern Tanganyika (from 1964: Tanzania) as the first NMS missionaries there.
1960s
  • 1960: The general assembly is held in Fredrikstad.
  • 1961: Fridthov Birkeli becomes bishop of Stavanger diocese and is succeeded by Johannes Skauge as general secretary.
  • 1963: The general assembly is held in Bodø.
  • 1966: The general assembly is held in Haugesund.
  • 1968-11-01: Magne Valen-Sendstad succeeds Johannes Skauge as general secretary.
  • 1969-06-26-07-01: The general assembly is held in Drammen. A majority vote supports the motion to include Ethiopia as one of the NMS mission fields. It is decided that NMS joins the group of owners of "Norsk Lærerakademi", a teachers training college in Bergen. Erik O. Hauge is elected chairman of the NMS Board of Govenors.
1970s
  • 1972: The general assembly is held in Stavanger.
  • 1975: The general assembly is held in Oslo. It is decided to include Brazil as a mission field. It is also decided to upgrade "Misjonsskolen" in Stavanger and change its name to "Misjonshøgskolen", i.e. develop the school into a university level divinty school, enabling it to grant the degree in theology in its own right.
  • 1976: Andreas Bårdsen, the NMS "Forretningsfører", i.e. chief financial officer, retires.
  • 1977-01-01: "Misjonshøgskolen", the "School of Mission and Theoogy", is in operation.
  • 1978-06-21-25: The general assembly is held in Bergen. Gunnar Salomonsen is elected chairman of the Board of Govenors.
  • 1978: The missionary training course "Kristendom og misjon", designed for candidates other than those preparing for ordination, is incorporated in the programs offered at the School of Mission and Theology.
  • 1978-12: Preben Lindøe is appointed "administrasjonssekretær", i.e. chief administrative officer, next in line after the general secretary.
  • 1979-11-30: By a Royal Decree, issued by the Department of Church and Educational Affairs, "Misjonshøgskolen" is authorized to grant the degree in theology.
  • 1970-01-11: Gunvor and Olav Kongsvik, Rannveig and Tor Dag Kjosavik, Ingrid Sørensen and Kari Årsland arrive in Ethiopia as the first NMS missionaries there.
  • 1974-06-04: Kazumi and Kjell Nordstokke arrive in Campinas, as the first NMS missionaries in Brazil.
  • 1976-08-31: Eli and Emil Aarsheim arrive in Bangkok, as the first NMS missionaries in Thailand.
1980s
  • 1980-11-01: Magne Valen-Sendstad retires as general secretary and is succeeded by Odd Bondevik.
  • 1981: The general assembly is held in Trondheim. It is decided to close "Misjonsskolen for kvinner" in Oslo, and incorporate the training of women missionary candidates at "Misjonshøgskolen", the School of Mission and Theology in Stavanger.
  • 1984: The general assembly is held in Kristiansand. It is decided that NMS employees can elect among themselves a member of the Board of Govenors, and the same principle was applied to the regional boards. Bjørn Bue is elected chairman of the Board of Govenors. The Board is allowed to begin mission work in Mali before the next NMS general assembly. It is also decided that the position of "administrasjonssekretær", the chief executive officer next to the general secretary, now shall have the title "administrasjonssjef".
  • 1986: NMS becomes a partner in "Kristent Innvandrerarbeid (KIA)", a Christian ministry focusing on immigrants in Norway.
  • 1986-08-29: By a Royal Decree, "Misjonshøgskolen" is authorized to grant the degree in Practical Theology, which is a requirement for ordination in the Church of Norway.
  • 1986-fall: Øyvind Oterholt is appointed as "administrasjonssjef" at the NMS head office.
  • 1987: The general assembly is held in Tromsø. Bjørn Bue is reelected as chairman of the Board of Govenors.
  • 1981: Mette Bagge ends her term, as the last NMS missionary in Tanzania.
  • 1983-01: Turid and Ingvald Ekeland arrive in Paris, as the first NMS missionaries in France.
  • 1986-05: Kristen Brannsether Jørgensen, Egil Jørgensen and Torunn Lunde arrive in Mali, as the first NMS missionaries there.
  • 1986: Norsk Kristen Muslimmisjon [Norwegain Christian Mission among Muslims] merges with NMS, which implies that NMS takes over former NKM mission work in Pakistan.
  • 1989: NMS begins mission work in Croatia.
1990s
  • 1990: The general assembly is held in Fredrikstad. Halvard N. Sveen is elected chairman of the Board of Govenors.
  • 1990-08: Anne Beate Tjentland is ordained in Stavanger Cathedral by bishop Bjørn Bue, as the first woman in the capacity as ordained missionary minister in NMS.
  • 1991: Odd Bondevik becomes bishop of Møre diocese and is succeeded by Tor Berger Jørgensen as general secretary.
  • 1993: The general assembly is held in Ålesund.
  • 1996: The general assembly is held in Hamar.
  • 1999: The general assembly is held in Stavanger.
  • 1990: NMS becomes involved in mission work in the Middle East.
2000s
  • 2000-03-01: Following the appointment of Tor Berger Jørgensen as dean of Bodø in Sør-Hålogaland diocese, Kjetil Aano begins as general secretary.
  • 2002: The general assembly is held in Skien.
  • 2005: The general assembly is held in Trondheim.
  • 2008: The general assembly is held in Bergen.
  • 2003: NMS begins mission work in Estonia.
  • 2004: NMS begins mission work in Laos.
  • 2006: NMS begins mission work in England, UK.
2010s
  • 2011-02-28: Having been appointed dean of Tungenes in Stavanger diocese of the Church of Norway, Kjetil Aano leaves his position as general secretary.